8-31-07 (15:17)
  • jimmy cliff's "harder they come" is ripe for a hip-hop remake.
  • worked at tom's place today. finished the deck. it was a satisfying project - sanded it down with a drum floor sander, he did the edges with the random orbit sander, then i did the side deck with the random orbit sander, cleaned out the spaces between the planks with a putty knife, rolled linseed oil on it, wiped off the excess, and stood back to admire a job well done. also did some landscaping. best of all, i got enough money to pay the rent (barely).
  • i feel like i've done a lot of work at the alumni house, but i've yet to get a paycheck. should get paid on the 6th.

  • 8-29-07 (18:16)

  • work was a bit annoying today. don't have any tomorrow though so that's nice.
  • meryl's first day of mills was today.
  • not much to report.

  • 8-28-07 (16:59)

  • half day of work today.
  • after work we went and did some shopping and took care of some stuff at mills.
  • today i got a call from a construction company that i was supposed to have an interview with (but they found someone before i had the chance), and they said that they're hiring for the position again. all of a sudden i have too many opportunities. i can't just quit my job at the cal alumni association and these people probably won't hire me for two days a week. lame.
  • finally purchased return of the jedi and empire strikes back on dvd. got the versions with the original theatrical cut.

  • 8-27-07 (22:35)

  • i worked this weekend on various projects for a friend of my aunt's. his name is tom, he used to be a painter, but now he teaches english and does landscaping during the summer. he's a good guy and he needs to get a bunch of work done by labor day so i figured i'd help him out. got to operate a floor sander on his old deck, so that was a new experience. meryl was busy with stuff for school so it worked out pretty well overall. it was also nice because i got some cash. i've been working at the alumni association for what seems like a while now, yet i haven't gotten my first paycheck, so i'm pretty strapped for cash. down to my last $100. rent and insurance are both due soon.
  • today i had work at the alumni association. afterwards, meryl and i went to vern and ryan's. we ate out and then came back and played on the wii. pretty fun console.
  • went to lunch with a guy from work today. he's nice enough. it was somewhat strange, though, because, after exchanging the usual get-to-know-you type banter, he asked where on the political spectrum i was. the conversation quickly turned towards what we each thought could be done to make the world a better place and from there it went into a conversation about whether or not human life has an inherent value. this isn't an out of the ordinary conversation for jon and me, but it was strange to have it with someone i just met. he asked a lot of questions about my thoughts on the role of government and human nature. hopefully he's not the mass murderer type. i don't think he is, though, if not for the simple reason that he seems too social to fit in the cho, harris, etc. mold.
  • got meryl's rear struts replaced. next i think my front brake shoes are going to need replacing. also going to give her car a simple tune-up.
  • my back has been hurting lately again. in part because of the work i'm doing and in part because it just has been off since i came back from ohio.
  • took the bus back from work today. it's $1.75 each way which is steep if you ask me. i'm going to look into getting a cal students' ID and making a copy of it. cal students ride the bus for free so that's the way to go.

  • 8-22-07 (00:29)

  • had my first full day of real work today. got all sorts of random, minor tasks done. bought a new chair for some guy, changed some light bulbs, inventoried some old copies of the "blue and gold" yearbooks (we have almost all of them dating back to 1877), did some shopping for some tasks i'll take care of tomorrow, etc. i was busy all day and worked 7.5 hours so it was a good day. the parking situation is on the crappy side. taking the bus is likely in my future. the commute isn't much longer and 3.50 round-trip is actually a bit cheaper, on average, than i'd likely pay for parking in the immediate area.
  • finished my dad's vhs to dvd project.
  • meryl's still in texas having a good ole time. actually, she's bored stiff.
  • luke's in north carolina and he called me the other day. we had a good talk.
  • finished the first season of the wire. i had plenty of problems with it, most of them boiled down to unrealistic writing in the details and poor acting. i may or may not give the second season a try. the first season of any show is always spotty so i guess you have to look at the potential of the characters, the premise, and the writing. that said, i think the first season of law and order was better than the first season of the wire. imdb.com users voted the wire a 9.7 and the sopranos a 9.5.
  • having to wake up in the morning by a certain time has never been a love of mine.

  • 8-19-07 (18:35)

  • was listening to air america last night and they had a infomercial about all the great things vitamin c can do - prevent colds, get rid of hemorrhoids, cure insomnia and cancer and all sorts of outlandish claims. it was funny because about a week ago i was listening to the conservative station and limbaugh (i think it was him) was talking about a recent study that found that vitamin c did not prevent colds, as has often been claimed. i'm used to hearing conflicting reports on these stations about immigration and iraq and global warming, but vitamin c? was it a coincidence or is there something more to this?
  • just got back from seeing the new version of invasion of the body snatchers. there are some significant differences, but it's still a remake and belongs in the family of four.

  • 8-19-07 (13:51)

  • i've been thinking about this for a long time now...why, when we're watching a movie or reading a fiction book, do we hope a character does a certain thing, or act a certain way, or not get whacked in the end or end up with his high school sweetheart or whatever? 1) the story has already been written, hoping does even less than usual (see quote at top of the page for more on that). 2) why do we bother caring about something fictional? and i don't mean that question as a cheap jab at religion, which is primarily about believing in a creation of someone's fantasy, either. i've never really understood my own feelings in this regard. i suppose you have to give your feelings to a work in order for it to work, and once you do that you can't help pulling for, or rooting against, characters.
  • finished the west wing last week. the ending was a bit disappointing, but also fitting. season seven was a bit of a return to form for the show from a writing standpoint, but it was too much about the horse race between alda and smits. those first four seasons, though, were freaking great.
  • today i finished the sopranos. i'm going to talk about the ending so stop reading if you don't want to know anything about it. i've been watching a few shows a day for the last several days. the show peaked during episodes 9-13 of season five, but the entire run is good. unlike most people, i liked the ending. it reminded me of the film "limbo" by john sayles in that you're given enough reason to think the characters will live or die, but you're not given an answer. i think anyone who says tony clearly lives or dies is being myopic, it's a nice thought exercise, but i think there are plausible clues implying both. i tend to like finality, but i don't mind a cop-out ending (let's not mince words - that's what it really is) if it's done well or suits a purpose. i think it was done well here and it may serve the purpose of making us the jury on tony's fate. or maybe we're finally put into his shoes - looking at everyone suspiciously. i think it works well so i actually liked the ending. regarding the show on the whole - i think that tony soprano may be the most textured, multi-faceted and interesting character in tv history. that said, i'm not a huge tv person, not by a long shot. you also have to consider that his character was able to flower and develop over the course of 8 real years, 6 seasons, 86 episodes and more hours (because each show is about 54 minutes long, and 86 episodes is a long run by most standards) of tv than 90+% of fictional tv personalities. it's a great show for a lot of reasons - the characters and their many arcs, the music, the subjects that were able to be discussed because the show was on cable (interesting that we have to pay for uncensored art, hmmm...), the writing, the fact that it acknowledges its many influences early on and honestly, and more. it grows redundant in isolated places, the soprano kids couldn't act for shit for the first couple seasons, and it received too much hype, but it's a great show nonetheless. it's incomparable because it was made for cable (so you can't compare it to other great dramas like the west wing), and it was on tv (so you can't compare it to the godfather or goodfellas).
  • one question i do have regarding that last episode is why he was dressed differently when he walked in than when he was sitting in the booth. it was edited as if he was watching himself at one point, and i couldn't really figure out what the point of that was.
  • was dubbing a ucla/duke basketball game from vhs to dvd when an old excedrin commercial came on. it featured the father from malcolm in the middle (also the dentist in seinfeld). old commercials are funny.
  • they also had a dunk contest during halftime and it featured mike conley, among others. afterwards, conley went to the sideline with his son (mike conley, jr.) who went to ohio state and was drafted #3 this year.
  • meryl got an mp3 player as an early birthday present from her dad. i was in charge of reencoding all the mp3s (because the ones on my computer are encoded at too high a quality) and transferring them to the player for her. at 128kbps you can fit about 18.5 hours of music per gig of space. using that figure i calculated that i'd need about a player that could fit about 120 gigs to fit all my music. right now the largest ipod fits 80gigs. i'm hoping that the increased use of video will push mp3 player makers to produce devices that can fit 100+ gigs of media.
  • excited about the new invasion of the body snatchers. each one has something to say about society in that place and time. it's directed by the guy who did downfall (which i own, but still haven't seen) and das experiment (which is great).

  • 8-14-07 (13:00)

  • had the interview at the cal alumni association today. seemed to go well and she said she'd like to hire me. the guy whose job i'd be taking over is leaving within a week so i think that's part of the reason i'm going to get the job; desperation.
  • also going to finish painting the last two rooms in my aunt's place tomorrow. also got a call from the tile contractor and he needs some work done tomorrow. i'm busy all of a sudden. hopefully all these things pan out and can be scheduled in such a way that i stay busy and profitable.
  • three more episodes of the west wing to go. finished curb your enthusiasm the other day (new season to begin next month, i think). 26 more episodes of the sopranos. after that i'll start the wire. might give deadwood a try as well.
  • updated the cold count. first cold of the year and it's an odd one. mostly in the throat and lungs. lingering, but mostly in the morning.
  • worked on my sister's laptop yesterday. it was running slow and had some problems. needs a new battery and ac adapter, but seems fine otherwise.
  • also working on selling my uncle's corvette. engine's seized, two tires are flat, sunroof is broken, inside is trashed. the 4+3 transmission and body are good. let me know if you're interested.


  • 8-13-07 (15:08)
  • today met with a tile contractor in san leandro who my mom knows. he's looking for some help and that may start as early as next week.
  • also got an interview with the cal alumni association for a handyman position. i applied for that one weeks ago and called them, but hadn't heard from them until now. having both would be pretty ideal since they'd both be part-time and i think both would keep me busy with different types of construction work. of course it could turn out that neither pans out.

  • 8-11-07 (22:33)

  • came up from la on monday. on my way back i visited my paternal grandma for the first time in a long time. they have a nice place in watsonville now. we ate at a place in soquel that's a couple miles from webb ranch. never knew they were that close to luke and family.
  • today meryl and i went to her grandfather's 80th birthday. had a big meal at buckhorn, with all the courses that come with a proper dinner.
  • almost done with the last season of the west wing. it's still a good show, but the drop off in writing, character development and plot are all noticeable after the departure of aaron sorkin.
  • still looking for work, still not finding anything. might have a lead with a tile contractor that my mom knows. other than that i don't have any leads. pretty soon i'm going to start looking for some part-time chump work that'll pay the bills. being wealthy would be preferable.
  • still converting vhs to dvd for my dad. should be done with that in a couple weeks.
  • bonds broke the record. assuming a-rod doesn't have any major medical problems, he'll break the record in 7 years or thereabouts, so all this controversy around him and the record will be just a memory.
  • i hate loud motorcycles. noise pollution is so lame.
  • some guy is writing a book about steve smith (the wide receiver for the panthers who went to high school with me) and he wrote an email to me to see if i had any information about smith. kinda interesting.

  • 8-8-07 (15:44)

  • finally downloaded some stuff from my camera.

  • lassen photos







    dodgers vs. giants

    gas station at olympic and robertson. this is a block away from the school attended prior to 2nd grade, which is no longer there.

    8-08-07 (11:29)

  • gums are bleeding, should go to a dentist. might have a cavity. need insurance.
  • pretty broke these days. going to start looking for work, rather than a career (which has been a complete failure so far).
  • got two tickets today because of the once a month street cleaning. $96 down the drain. yay.
  • i hate money because it is so frequently the thing that keeps me from being stress free or happy or unburdened or whatever.
  • got a sore throat the other day and it's still with me. i'm not sick, but there's definitely something that isn't quite right.
  • i think the only way to unload the corrado and get anything decent out of it is to put a little money into it to make it worth buying.

  • 8-04-07 (11:26)

  • in la now. went to the three dodgers/giants games on tuesday, wednesday and thursday. bonds played all three games, but wasn't effective and obviously didn't get the record-tying HR. it was a fun time nonetheless. the dodger fans were brutal to the giants fans and bonds. chants of "barry sucks" and "steroids" were heard when he entered left field, the on deck circle and the batter's box. anytime he got near the ball he was booed and every out he caused was met with cheers. there were occasional skirmishes throughout the games, but nothing too drastic, that i saw.
  • i've been thinking about going to the padres game tomorrow to see if i can't get lucky and see bonds hit his HR there. still not decided on that. luke and ryan are in san diego now and were in la during the dodger series, but i didn't see them.
  • probably coming back up in the next couple days. i have a couple things to take care of down here first.

  • in the late stages of the fourth season of the sopranos. if you're interested in getting into the series i would recommend going about it this way: read a detailed summary of the first season written by someone who has seen the entire series. watch about half the episodes of the second season, and 75% of the episodes of the third season, and read a synopsis of the missed episodes. so far all but one or two episodes of the fourth season have been worth watching. the sopranos has gotten better with each season, whereas the west wing got worse after sorkin left (at the end of the fourth season).